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Opinion

Resident assistant launches advice column

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September 26, 2014

Hello students of UW-River Falls. My name is Kayla Donahue and I am a sophomore here on campus. I live and work in Grimm Hall as a resident assistant, and I am starting a new advice column right here in the Student Voice.

Send me a message by email explaining your issue that needs resolving and sign it with an alias or your real name. Anonymity is completely up to you. You can submit topics for discussion from problems in the classroom, to relationships with that special someone. I am open to almost anything except for topics laced with profanity and pornography. My contact information is as follows: ask.kayla.uwrf@gmail.com.

Just Trying to Help asks: “I recently found out that my friend’s boyfriend is cheating on her. I’m worried that if I tell her she won’t believe me and turn against me. It wouldn’t be the first time something like this has happened to me. This is something I can’t keep to myself and that I can’t keep from her. How do I go about telling her?”

Dear Just Trying to Help, First off, I agree with you for wanting to tell your friend about her cheating boyfriend. If I were ever in the same situation, I’d want to do the same thing. There are just a few do’s and don’ts to this situation:

1. It’s very important to keep in mind that finding out a significant other is not committed will most likely leave your friend devastated and heartbroken. Even if they haven’t been together for long, it’s pretty safe to say that it’s difficult finding out that sort of information. This is for your friend’s best interest, and for her own good.

2. You need to make sure you two are alone when you tell her and that she is not in an aggressive or abrasive mood. She needs to be completely open-minded to what is happening behind her back. Start off by explaining that you would never lie about something as important as this. Then, just peel the Band-Aid off. Maybe not a rip, but just a gentle peel.

3. If she doesn’t believe you, don’t keep trying to convince her. It will only make things worse. Let her figure out the rest on her own. Once the seed is planted the roots and the rest of the plant will grow towards the sky. When she hopefully finds out, be there for her. Don’t be saying, “I told you so.” She is going through an emotional stage in her life. She needs you as a friend.

Sarah inquires:

“I am new to campus and am a quiet, not very outgoing person. I am having trouble making friends and wish I knew of a better way to meet new people. I know the school year is only two weeks in but I feel like I should be making more friends by now.”

Dear Sarah, The first few weeks for a new student is not always the easiest. If you live in the residence halls, hanging out with people on your wing, floor or building are good places to start. Or start going to your hall programs. More than likely they are either in the same position or have already experienced it. They can help you meet new people. If you live off-campus and are having difficulty, try talking to students in some of your classes. They could be in the same sort of situation as well. Clubs and student organizations are also a great way to get involved. There are over 150 on campus in so many different categories ranging from sports and recreation to performing arts and Greek life. There are so many ways to get involved and make new friends: you just have to remember that you are not alone.

Lonely Luncher asks:

“Last year all my friends and I could eat lunch together. This year, we all have different schedules and we’re forced to eat by ourselves most the time. What can I do to not feel so weird while eating alone?”

Dear Lonely Luncher, I am sorry to hear that you are unable to eat lunch with your friends, but it is never too late to make some new ones. When sitting in the cafeteria, look around for other students eating alone. I do it all the time. Ask to join them, or ask someone else to join you. If you consider yourself to be a bit more socially awkward, then find another friend–maybe a new one–who has the same class break so you can enjoy each other’s company. You can ask someone in your class before you eat, or maybe ask a random person walking near you on the sidewalk. If you don’t mind eating alone and don’t want to be bothered, you can bring your smartphone (if you have one) and play some games or check your email– or whatever else they are capable of doing– to pass the time.

You can also take something back to your room or to a location other than Riverside Commons. Your meals can be transferred in the Rapids or Pete’s Creek, too. I hope this helps.

Kayla Donahue is a student at UW-River Falls.